Annnd…here’s what happened.

I was so incredibly nervous about what might happen when I saw him today that I walked to class shaking.  Corey, as I was talking to him, mistook this for my being cold and moved me into the sun.

Well, as it turned out, he was obviously trying to act like things were normal between us.  He made a valiant effort.  And I still had every intention of making the phone call immediately after class, if he didn’t walk to the car with me.

A couple things about class—I turned in the love poem, which I thought had totally sucked because I suck at poetry, but maybe that’s just me—L’Owen told me he loved it and asked permission to read it aloud next class.  He was also thoroughly amused with the title of the fourteen pages I handed him:  “Stalkers Anonymous”.

The member of our group who was supposed to have sent us his story online to read before today never sent it, so we really had nothing at all to talk about, my other group member and I…except he had the rest of Dean’s story, so he was planning to just join their group.  I, of course, had not seen the rest of the story, and this guy’s sitting there saying, “That guy [Dean] is a genius, seriously.”

I’m like, “I know.”  Stop talking to me about it!

L’Owen told me that if Josh (the other member of our group) did not show up, then I had no reason to stick around, so to give it ten minutes.  Mike was counting down.  Josh showed up when I had, like…one minute to go.  Go figure.  Haha.  So then he and Mike start discussing how brilliant Dean is…meanwhile, I’ve been shamelessly staring at him ever since I first arrived.  At that point, though, his back was to me, so he couldn’t have noticed.

When all was said and done at the end of class, I was talking to L’Owen, and Dean was leaving, and I’m looking up at him—trying to do so inconspicuously—wondering if he’s going to say good-bye, assuming he isn’t, when he turns and looks at me and says, “I’ll wait for you outside.”

I think I beamed.

I went outside, and we talked to the group for a moment or so, and he announced that he was leaving, so I went with him.

Conversation was…well…it was…odd.  Sort of stilted, I guess.

When we got to the parking lot, he said, “Walk to my car with me, I’ve got something for you.”

So he takes out a stack of books that he’d been talking about loaning to me, before I went and turned all stupid, and was saying, “Things between us have been…”

“Awkward,” I finished.  “Yes, I noticed.”

“Yeah…well, I wanted to loan you these as a sort of peace offering.”

So there he was, willing to make peace and at least attempt to bring things back to some level that they were before, even after what I’d told him on the phone.  That was enough for me to see that Sandra was way wrong in her speculations (see previous entry).

“Um…I’ve been thinking,” I said.  “I realized that I’m stupid, and I don’t want to stop seeing you, after all.”  (As I explained to Michelle yesterday, I never looked forward so much to telling somebody I was stupid.)

He smiled, in a sort of I-want-to-believe-you-but-you’d-better-prove-it way and said, “What brought that on?”

“I—I’m not sure,” I stuttered.  “Well, obviously, it was partially due to how weird things had gotten…like yesterday, when you wouldn’t even look at me.”  I watched him carefully, to see if perhaps yesterday was just some sort of fluke, and that hadn’t been intentional.

“Yeah,” he said, and nodded–yes, he had been deliberately ignoring me.  Well, I did deserve it.

“But…yeah.  I changed my mind.  I don’t know what the hell my problem is.”

“I’m afraid I came on too strong the other night.  It was never my intention to make you think…you know, that you’re the only one for me, or…anything like that.  It was true what I said; I’ve never really felt this way for someone before, and I wanted to tell you that, and at least give it a shot.  It could last a day, it could last a week, who knows?  But at least we’d have tried.  I didn’t mean to spook you.  We just need to take things very slowly.”

I, of course, agreed.  Then I told him about Katie’s response to witnessing our exchange, or lack thereof, yesterday.

“I just didn’t know what to do, really,” he said.  “I mean, I was hurting, for one thing, and then I didn’t know what to say to you at all, and…well, I felt really wrong about it, so I wanted to try and make up.”

Then I had to go to work, and he stood back, even though he was giving me that same look that I always assumed meant he wanted to kiss me.  He wasn’t going to do anything.  That’s certainly respectful.  So I put my arms around him and kissed him instead.  Then I told him I’d call him after work and walked happily back to my car.

So…yeah.  We fixed things.

Today was a good day.

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Tirade of the Day

Obviously, I do like him.

This fact occurred to me (too late, of course) sometime after I told him that I didn’t want to commit to anything, and that it was up to him if we kept seeing each other because I didn’t want to lead him on.

I keep thinking up odd stuff that I forgot to put in earlier entries; yesterday in class, for example, I was sick, and we had this whole-class peer review thing, of three pages of one of Dean’s short stories, in fact, and then a poem another girl wrote.

Well, as I was quite ill physically, at least, and a little strung out emotionally, I just…sat there, with my head down on the desk.  I was listening…sort of.  And at the end of class, L’Owen looked around and said, “There are six minutes left…and I know there are a couple people in here who haven’t said anything this whole time…who are they…?”

I did a quick scan and saw that there were only two of us who hadn’t spoken, and…he was bound to notice that.  So I raised my hand to get it over with.  I figured if I sacrificed myself, it would be a lot better for me than letting him call me out.

“GINNY!” he said, grinning with delight.  “You haven’t said one word today; you’ve been slouched down there in your seat, and somehow we’ve completely missed you!  Well, Ginny, you’re going to talk for the next six minutes.”

I stared at him.  (I was stalling.)

“Go on!” he said.  “Let’s hear what you’ve got to say; there must be something.”

Well, we were on Dean’s story, and I sort of…glanced at him sideways, and then I said something.  I have no idea what it was.  All the comments I’d thought about making had already been hashed over.  I really don’t know what I said.  It may have been relevant, maybe not.

I said something that I knew he’d have to defend, and he did, and I responded with something (I seriously do not remember what we were talking about) and I’m sitting here thinking, Is this an argument?–I think we’re arguing.  He hates me.  He so hates me.

Anyway, after the events of yesterday and today, by the time I got to work, I was considering calling him immediately after to tell him that I am sorry, I’m stupid, I do like him, and I don’t want to stop seeing him.  That is the point I had reached.  And Michelle and Adrianna thought this was a good idea, too.

Then I talked to Sandra, who scared the hell out of me.

Sandra’s opinion on it all is that if he respected what I’d said to him, then he’d still want to be friends and things should go on pretty much like normal.  The fact that he is now basically shunning me, she thinks, shows that he only wanted me for one thing, and since he knows he’s not going to get it, he wants nothing more to do with me.

I stared at her in horror, thinking that yes, this did make sense, and that Sandra, being in her forties/fifties, would know better than the rest of us.  (She said it happened to her before.)

I switched places with Adrianna to go and serve with Michelle and see what she thought.  Then I decided to share with Tyler, as he is a guy, and get his opinion.

Somehow, I explained the whole story to Tyler in about five sentences.  I have no idea how I accomplished this.  I’ll never manage it again.

Tyler’s instinct is that he really does like me and is just hurt (which is my instinct, as well as the instinct of pretty much everyone who has actually met him), and he said, “Like, if I only wanted you [he lowered his voice here] for sex [normal voice again], then if you told me that you didn’t want a serious relationship, I would come back with, ‘That’s great!  Me neither!’”

But we all agreed that Sandra really could have a point.

After that I was too frightened by it all to call him.  I’m going to see what happens in class tomorrow, and take it from there.

Also at work tonight, Michelle and Tyler and I stood around talking for a good while, and then I had to go on a quest for more marinara, and when I came back, they explained to me that nothing was said while I was gone; conversation completely ceased.  They were looking forward to me coming back to break the awkward silence.  Conversation depended on me, they said.

Of course, this reminded me of the episode of Seinfeld when George and Elaine can’t talk to each other without Jerry there.  I told them so.

Tyler said, “I would be Elaine.  I claim her right now.”

Michelle said, “No way; you can’t be Elaine!  She’s a woman!”

I said, “I’m Jerry.”

“True,” she said.

“Besides, you’re short,” I told her, and Tyler and I both snickered.

Corey reminded me of Seinfeld today, too.  The first thing I heard him say was, “I am on no sleep!”

So I finished up, “No sleep!  You don’t know what it’s like over there!”

Katie cackled, and I did, too, and she said, “YUS, the Red Menace!”

Know-It-All looked at us, laughing a bit and shaking her head, and she said, “I love watching these two.  They sit there laughing evilly about all their little inside jokes, and you think they’re laughing at you, but most of the time they really aren’t.”

Katie and I looked at each other, and one of us said, “Except that we actually are, usually.”  Or maybe we only thought it.  I can’t remember.  That was right about the point that Dean the Mormon showed up.

I completely forgot my history quiz until last night at 3:30, when I was going to bed.  So I got out the sheet and memorized the twenty terms in order in just about five minutes.  I cannot tell you how amazed I was; usually it takes way longer.  After reading them once pretty much, I knew them all.

Katie and I went to Steak ‘n’ Shake at midnight and, by 1:45, had frightened all the customers away.  Score.

I should sleep.  I have to pick up my contacts tomorrow, and the office closes at twelve.  I didn’t make it on Monday.  (It was like 12:45 by the time I got there.)

It only gets worse, of course.

I took a nap in the library before class today, because I didn’t have to do anything in my first class, and what woke me up was somebody in a dream telling me, “Ginny, you’re going to be late to your history class.”  This jolted me awake just in time, in fact.

I headed outside where I sit with Corey (who was in D.C. yesterday, hence why he was not in class) and Know-It-All (and sometimes Katie) every day, and sometimes a couple guys from my history class, and they were all there, and Katie and I were cackling about random things, when all of a sudden, Dean the Mormon walks right around the corner.

I never see him at that time of the day on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and yet there he was, and so Corey and Know-It-All both greeted him, and he had a nametag on because he’d just come from work, and Katie said, in a semi-low voice, “Is that…?”  And I said, “Yes.”

“I can’t picture you kissing him,” Katie said, an evil tone in her voice.

“Shut up!” I hissed.  She continued to grin.  It would have been funny if it hadn’t been such a bad situation.  I looked up at him, and he sort of glanced at me, and then he immediately looked away, never said a word to me in the entire time that we sat there talking about class yesterday, (“L’Owen?” Katie guessed correctly) and never even looked at me.  (Katie, naturally, found this quite humorous.)

And then he walked away.  Never a word; never a glance.

Speaking of which, when he didn’t walk me to my car yesterday, he also neglected to say good-bye.  As I suspect, the only reason conversation was exchanged at all was because he had my book.

And then as we were walking into class, Corey noticed that something was wrong with me, and started interrogating me, but of course, what could I say?  I couldn’t say anything, so I didn’t.

I didn’t mention this yesterday, but when I got home, I made some comment about some hot guy on the TV, and my mom, who was holding the bird and speaking in her baby voice, said, “No cute boy for Sunshine…cute boy for Ginny, but not Sunshine.  Ginny has a cute boy; his name is Dean.”

I’m like, “Uhh…no.  No, she doesn’t.”

My mom looked up at me and said, “Why not?”

I gave a very brief explanation (I told him I didn’t want a commitment, so it was over) and she acted annoyed with me!  Why would my mom not be supportive of me!?  So then I just felt even worse, and reminded myself why I don’t like telling my family things.

To change the subject slightly, I also left out this story about yesterday in class when we were critiquing this one girl’s poem.  She works in a grocery store, and one day a drag queen called her up to ask for eyeliner, and then just started telling her about being a drag queen.  It was a really funny poem; anyway, L’Owen looks around at all the guys and says, “Have any of you ever dressed in drag?”  A couple of them had stories:  Randy had worn a dress once when he was eight, etc.

L’Owen to whom I was unfortunately not paying a great deal of attention, as I had other things on my mind like trying not to be sick and worrying about the gap between my desk and Dean’s, was grinning as he told this story about how he and his wife like to make fun of each other, and one time he put on one of her bras and started laughing at her, and I’m thinking, “I must have missed something here” and everybody’s looking around at each other oddly, most of them laughing…it was rather interesting.  I really ❤ the guy.

I’m horrible. I am.

It was really depressing.

It isn’t as though he didn’t speak to me; he did.  But it was really weird and…distant.  In fact, a few minutes ago I finally realized what it reminded me of—that part in The 10th Kingdom when Wolf finally comes back and things are all different between him and Virginia because she…well…she turned him down.  He might still rescue me from the Swamp of Eternal Sleep, or whatever it’s called, but it would be so I could go back home again, not because he really wanted anything to do with me anymore.  Of course, I expected some weirdness.  But when it actually happened, it was way more uncomfortable than you’d think.  He spoke to me, because he had a book he’d borrowed from me.  But not a lot.  I know I was pretty under-the-weather—I’d felt rather feverish and blah since waking up—so that might have accounted for part of it, but little things just felt different.  We had to move our seats into this big circle for a peer critique, and there was this horrible gap between mine and his and I was just all, Is that intentional?  Did it just happen that way?  OMG, I’m freaking out—I am freaking out!

And then after class, when everybody stood around outside talking like we always do, and I said, “Okay guys, I have to go to work now, I’ll see you later,” he totally did not walk me to my car like he always does after every class, and that was the kicker.  You know, just a little thing, but it hurt, and I’m sure he probably hurts way more than I do and I have no right at all to feel this way.  I almost wanted to cry at work.  I’ll attribute that partially to PMS.  PMS sucks; your physical side should not be allowed to influence your emotional side.  So then of course I started wondering how much of my decision of yesterday was influenced by PMS, if that is indeed what this is, and then I started to wonder how I can ever depend on myself to do anything right when nearly every thought that goes through my head could potentially be attributed to PMS.

Apart from that, and the fact that I felt like I might be sick at any moment, class was sort of funny today.  The other day, we watched about half an hour of Sin City, which Corey seriously enjoyed (his laughter was almost funnier than the movie itself) and then at the end of class, he asked L’Owen if he could borrow it.  L’Owen said yes, as long as he promised to bring it back on Monday, because he is very fond of this movie.  Corey said yes, of course, and then…did not show up today at all.

So L’Owen, all serious, borrowed somebody’s cell phone and called Corey, who didn’t answer, and then left a message.  Everyone was listening intently as he said in his softest, most serious voice, “Corey.  This is your creative writing teacher.  We’re all in creative writing class wondering where you are; it’s 1:50 now.  [Class starts at 1:30.]  Why aren’t you in class, Corey?  We hope you show up.  Call Mike’s cell phone to let us know where you are.  Take care.”  Something very similar to that, at least.

Corey never called or showed up.

Captain America went wild today.  He kept offering to buy L’Owen a new copy of the DVD from Target if Corey never showed up—provided, of course, that his grade was raised five points.  Know-It-All kept The Tally today.  (L’Owen responded vaguely that it is the principle of the thing.  I ❤ that guy.)

Psychobrat has urinary tract infection.  Poor Psychobrat.  (I actually do feel bad for her.  She was crying in bed yesterday because she was in pain or sickness or something.)

Okay.  I can’t really remember anything else I was going to talk about, except that I feel bad now and I want to talk to him and I refuse to call, so on Wednesday I intend to go in there feeling 100% chipper and like my old self and…hope it feels more…normal.

It isn’t possible to go back, is it?

A Special Breed of Stupid

When I finished reading “News Flash” to the class the other day, L’Owen said, “I love that line—‘special breed of stupid’—I’m going to steal that.  Not for anything I’ll write, but just to say it to people in everyday conversation.”

Nicole thinks I should sell it to Happy Bunny.

Well, you heard it here first.  You hear that line anywhere else, you’ll know it was stolen from me.

When I stood up to read “News Flash”, and L’Owen said, “This is Ginny’s love poem,” Corey said, “Love?  Who does Ginny love, Harry Potter?”  Bwahahaha.

Then later, L’Owen commented that there are all these serious emotions about past high school relationships in our love poems, and that when he was in high school, he wasn’t serious about his relationships at all.  And this one girl told him, “That’s because you’re a special breed of stupid, Professor.”  Then she immediately hid her face and said, “Oh, I’m going to fail now.”

But he was laughing.  “No!” he said.  “No, on the contrary, I’m pleased that you felt comfortable enough to say that.  This is the kind of rapport I like to have with my students.”

So yeah, class was fun—sad, though.  It was the last time I will ever be in L’Owen’s class.  He got us pizza, and the pizza guy walked in with these big gold hoop pirate earrings, and L’Owen was like, “Hold on a second there—show the class your earrings.  Class, look at his earrings!”

I’m going to miss random stuff like that.  He told us he wanted to give a speech that he usually saves for the last day of class, but he left it at home.  Some speech Bill Murray gives in Rushmore, which I haven’t seen, but I found it online.  Goes like this:

“You guys have it real easy.  I never had it like this where I grew up.  But I send my kids here because the fact is you go to one of the best schools in the country:  Rushmore.  Now, for some of you it doesn’t matter.  You were born rich and you’re going to stay rich.  But here’s my advice to the rest of you:  Take dead aim on the rich boys.  Get them in the crosshairs and take them down.  Just remember, they can buy anything but they can’t buy backbone.  Don’t let them forget it.  Thank you.”

I’ve got to see this movie.

There’s this really obnoxious guy at work who seemingly tries to piss us off just by staring stupidly when we tell him he can’t do something or we can’t do something for him.  He annoys the hell out of me.  I don’t like dealing with him.

Last week, he tried to give Michelle two plates, and she’d just been yelled at for that, so she told him no, and he stood there and stared at her for about ten more people before she finally told him, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that, just go and eat that one and then come back.”  And he walked off huffily.

I was complaining to my mom about this guy, and she said, “Maybe he’s mentally challenged.”

Perhaps it is politically incorrect of us, but we decided to treat him like he is whether he actually is or not.  We decided to start calling him The Waterboy.

Thursday night we had make-your-own-pizza night, and during a slow moment, Michelle came up to me and said, “I’ve been wondering what would happen if we cooked one of these pizzas with an ice cube on it.”

I said, “DOOO IIIIT!”

She said, “I’ve got to wait for just the right person, though,” and I was opening my mouth to tell her to wait for The Waterboy, when he walked in.

Well, it came out looking normal, but we’re hoping it tasted soggy and watery.  Jerk.

When I told Sandra, she said, “Oh, you should have done it to Rain Man, too!  You should have put about five ice cubes on his pizza.  That boy annoys me so much…!”

Sandra has been well-trained.  Unfortunately, Rain Man never came through the pizza line that night.

Thursday I took my first and last final for the semester.  It was in history, so when I gave the prof my test, she whispered, “Ginny, do you have any more classes to take with me?”

I whispered back that I’ll be at UNF next semester, and she said good luck and keep in touch.  I am going to miss her classes; she’s the greatest history teacher I ever had, and she’s so sweet.  Haha.

I arrived in English class half an hour late today, as everybody else was leaving, and the prof gave me my A and then he and a couple other girls sat around talking for the majority of the class period, mostly about holidays and such.  He was telling us how when he was a kid in like third grade, it was mandatory that the class get up and sing “Jesus Loves Me” every morning, and his father told him he couldn’t (because he’s Jewish).

It’s a weird feeling—these are some of my favorite teachers from college, I’m taking them all for the second or third time, and now I know I’ll never take any of them again because I’m switching schools.  Strange.

L’Owen offered us all letters of recommendation, so I think I’ll remember that for the future….

I was about to write about the dream I had this morning, when I realized I’ve already forgotten it.  I haven’t had time to refresh my memory this morning, so it just…didn’t stick.

But yesterday morning I had a dream about this huge plant that ate people.  What’s funny is, I think in my dream I actually said, “This is just like Little Shop of Horrors!”

Actually, it was worse, though, because this giant plant (way bigger than the one from the play) had X-ray vision and super-hearing and would slam its way through walls and such to get at people.  No warning at all, it would just suddenly burst through the ceiling and scoop you up in its mouth.  And it grabbed onto things with its vine and pulled itself along.  You couldn’t run or hide from the thing—it was very much like a horror movie.

I have very little else to talk about right now, so I’ll just post this, I guess.

Two Poems by Yours Truly

Not that I claim to be a good poet or anything, but I thought I should post these here, anyway.  (And besides, L’Owen really liked “News Flash”.)

News Flash

News flash: I love you, idiot.

You’re a special breed of stupid; that’s why we’re not together. Then, so am I, and that’s why I still care. But you are a male; thus, you far surpass me in stupidity.

I used to feel that your fantastic, perceptive eyes could see through to my soul. But I know now that you only ever saw through me. You were never able to look at me.

Eyewitnesses, all friends, claimed that we ought to be together—even the first ex, from whom I tried to steal you, and the other, who stole you from me for a small eternity. Now I understand why they all thought we might work: you were too much a moron to see that we should, and I so much of one I believed that we could. What a paradox! (That’s one of those things that could destroy the universe. It chose my heart instead.)

Well, that explains it, you and I—we’re simply too dense to coincide.

 

Writing on the Wall

“Call Marcia, the horizontal mambo whore.”

…Who does that?

Who writes their name and number on the wall?

These people must be really bored

or just really sick

to showcase their number on the wall of the theatre.

We live by the Seinfeldian Creed:

Make fun of everybody.

So we snicker, sitting secluded on the side of the cineplex.

It’s 2 a.m., and there’s no one about

save the solitary, octogenarian security guard.

You see, that’s why

people get away with vandalism.

They’ve got guys like him driving around.  What’s he gonna do?

By the time he got out of his car, they’d already be reaching city limits.

Laugh some more—cackle, really.  We feel evil tonight.

 

Maybe it isn’t their own numbers people write up there.

Maybe it’s revenge.

A game of write your enemy’s number on a wall.

I wish I knew the number of one of my enemies.

“What, you don’t know her number?”  You wear a wicked smile.

Did the streetlight brighten?

Do I hear the “Hallelujah” chorus?

Of course I know her number.

 

A downside of having the Love of your Life

live at your house is that

his girlfriend calls all the time.

Right now, under your roof,

he’s talking to her.

They’re watching SNL together.

They’re going out tonight.

They went out last night.

He wants her to come over.

They’re having phone sex.

You’ve got to escape.

Go to a movie with Katie.

Don’t come back until morning.

 

Of course I know her number.

 

“I have a Sharpie.”  You grin with malice.

“So do I.”  My eyes give off green sparks.

From my purse, the dagger emerges.

We exchange a secret, conspiratorial smirk.

Brutus and Antony on the Ides of March.

“Keep a lookout,” I say.  “I don’t want Grandpa to catch me.”  How would that look?

I leave the door ajar

so you can’t betray me if old Gramps drives up.

“SWARM! SWARM!” you would yell, clicking the lock.

I watch Seinfeld, too.  I know how these things work.

 

The streetlight is brighter.  It’s a spotlight.

Anybody driving by right now could see me.

I unsheathe the dagger.

I can’t believe I’m doing this.

A final glance around.

The coast is clear.

I scrawl the number of the Enemy on the wall.

 

About to run back,

I have an afterthought.

“Call me!” I add at the top.

 

In the car, we breathe,

and suddenly wonder if we are on camera.

But it was worth it.  We’ll laugh about this forever.

 

What kind of people write on the wall?

They must be really bored, or really sick.

Serious Relationship Anxiety

So…for those of you who feel like a hurricane breezed through here and are still wondering what the hell just happened, let me explain.  Here’s an introduction to Dean the Mormon.

Well, so he’s in my creative writing class, and we just started hanging out, and I was pretty sure he liked me, and never quite sure what I thought about him—I certainly liked him well enough as a friend, at least.

And then the feelings came out, and a real date was instigated for last Wednesday night.  We went out for dinner and then closed another bookstore, as is our habit; it was very pleasant, I enjoyed it, and then when it was over, as is always the case when we say good-bye for the night, I knew he wanted to kiss me.  (Oh, also?  I discovered, the night he finally told me how he felt, that I have SRA, which stands for Serious Relationship Anxiety, and I am unnaturally freaked out by things like Kissing, Handholding, and Commitment.)

That night, another date was set in order for Saturday.  And so we went to Starbucks and talked for about two hours, then to a movie, and when we said good-bye, as always, I knew again that he wanted to kiss me.  I broke the awkwardness by offering to drive him back to his car, which led to further awkwardness as we said good-bye again.

And then when I was in the car, gloating to Katie that, during the movie, I had kept my hands firmly to myself to avoid the ever-so-galling Handholding that she had so cruelly (?) warned me about…he called again.  He asked permission to be temporarily neurotic and confessed that he has never felt this way about someone before and that he had no clue what to do from there.  I confessed that I have Serious Relationship Anxiety and that I also had no clue what to do from there.  We decided to meet up and talk about it.  So I headed back to the bookstore, which we had not hit yet that night.  (Last night.)

The first thing I said, after I got out of my car in front of the store (It was late, about 10:00 by then, so parking was not an issue—the North Pole, or Town Centre as the outdoor mall is technically named, has parking issues.  And yes, we actually call it the North Pole, because it looks very much like the North Pole from The Polar Express and has Christmas lights all over it all year round, and…it’s really cool.  Anyway.) was, “…So….”  The first thing he said was, “Kiss me, Ginny.”

I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but somehow my lips touched his.  And I didn’t freak out too much.

Then we went inside, hand in hand.  (As we were walking in, the very first thing I saw was a book on that first shelf entitled, Beware Who You Date, or something very similar to that, which of course made me wonder if it was a sign or not.)  We sat in the corner of the movie section for a while, as the fluffy chairs were taken, and talked.  Well, he talked.  I didn’t know what to say.  I told him that the Kissing was way preferable to that of The Bad Date.  He laughed.  He knows all about The Bad Date because of class.  Apart from that, I didn’t really know what to say at all.  I’m just thinking, Do I really like him?  Oh, I hope I do.  Also a bit of, Hey, I’m not freaked out anymore.  Look, I’m holding his hand.  I’m actually doing it!  This isn’t so hard at all!  Wow, I can’t believe we kissed for that long. 

Finally the cat released my tongue as I explained that I’d never been in a real relationship before ever, and that the longest one was with the very guy that you are always warned to stay away from on the Internet but you always inevitably meet, anyway—you know, the creepy psycho who lives in a cave and only comes out to pull small children back in and eat them.  I explained that I was going to have freak-outs, and he said it was okay because he probably would, too, as he’s never felt this way about anyone before and doesn’t exactly know what to do, and so that was cool, at least we were both in the same boat, basically.

After a while, the corner started to get dull, and we started walking around, and I was even able to take the initiative and take his hand first.  All quite naturally.  We went to the humor section to laugh at Darth Vader and the President.  We remained there until closing (11:00, which becomes important to the story).  Then we went outside and stood in front of our cars, which were side by side, and said good-bye.  With tongue.  For forty-five minutes.  Forty-five straight minutes, only broken a couple of times—once by a mother and small child (“Hide your eyes!” the mother said), and once by this woman and a friend, one of whom said, “Yeah, look at them now, and in ten years, she’s going to get his retirement money.”  Um…huh?

So there we’re standing, right in the center of the North Pole, in the most Christmas-y-looking spot, right in front of Barnes and Noble and the Cheesecake Factory, which are totally the coolest buildings architecturally, and…it’s the bookstore.  Bookstores are very cool.  And there’s Christmas music being played from some overhead thing, and it’s really romantic, actually.

And I’m thinking, Do I really like him?  I hope I really like him, because this is just bad if I don’t really like him.  I wish I knew.  Kissing isn’t as frightening as I thought it was.  At least, not at this point, in this upright position here; no, not bad.  It’s been like five minutes now.  Should my mind be wandering?  Is this wrong?  This could mean that I don’t really like him at all, couldn’t it?  Or is this normal?  Maybe this is normal.  I think it’s actually been like ten minutes by now.  Does this ever end?  How am I supposed to make it stop?  I can’t just stand here and keep kissing forever.  I mean…I can’t.  I’m going to die here, right here, kissing.  I’m going to tell him to stop smoking.   This won’t do. Yeah, it’s a bit minty, ‘cause he told me he’d been chewing gum all day, and I knew he said that earlier about chewing gum and not smoking all day because he wanted to kiss me.  I can never tell Mom about this.  She’s always warned me against kissing a smoker.  She always said I may as well just lick an ashtray.  I wonder if he tastes like cigarettes to him.  It’s kind of like that time in Sideways Stories from Wayside School when they made ice cream that tasted like all the different kids, and of course nobody could taste their own flavor, and some flavors were good and others sucked.  Wonder what I taste like.  I can’t taste me.  Probably ginger or something, since I had those Altoids because I knew this was coming.  I’m never going to get out of this kiss.  This isn’t going to do.  We’ll never get anything done if we can’t stop kissing.  From this angle, his teeth kind of look like chipmunk teeth.  How cute.  Close your eyes, idiot.  Oh, I gotta move my head; this is killing my neck.  I wonder if kissing ever gives people neck problems.  No, people probably know when to move.  All right, I’m moving.  …Yeah, it’s definitely been about fifteen minutes now.  Damn.  This is really going to shock the hell out of some people.  I, with my Serious Relationship Anxiety, stood here and kissed for like fifteen minutes.  Oh, god, I really hope I like him. 

Among other things.  There were a couple of times when he said things like, “I can’t believe I found you,” and, “I never thought this would happen,” to which I replied, quite honestly, “Me neither….”  (No, I wasn’t sure what I meant by that, exactly, either.)  At one point he had me promise to call him after work, and of course he asked when we could do this again, and it doesn’t seem possible—how do you talk while kissing?—but there were little bits of conversation here and there.

Well, so after we broke apart, and then we moved closer together because I remembered I had a book to loan him and one to return, and we kissed again, eventually I got in my car and noticed that it was like…11:45…and I thought, That was forty-five minutes!?  I’m never going to get anywhere if I keep this up.

As I explained afterward, after kissing for forty-five minutes, I reached the conclusion that kissing is very wet.  And that’s about all I determined.

Until later, and all today, as I slowly reached the conclusion that, while I may like him somewhat, I don’t want a relationship right now, because for the first time—really ever, I have to say, my life feels balanced, and I don’t want to do anything to tip the scales.  He’s also way more serious about this than I am, as far as I can tell.  And I have no desire to lead him on.

I told him as much, after work tonight, over the phone.  He didn’t freak out.  Neither did I.  There were a couple of awkward silences, but overall it was okay.  Now we’ll just see what happens when we’re in class tomorrow.  Or, more importantly, before and after class, when he always walks me to my car.  Whether he does that or not tomorrow, it’s going to be…odd.

All right, let me post this thing.